Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sabadabada.com - Brazilian Record Covers

Sabadabada.com is a one-person site designed by a record collector of Brazilian music that was designed for passing on information to other collectors. As evidenced by the downloadable albums, the site isn't concerned about rights management. Album covers are photographed rather than scanned, with most images since 2008 photographed at 314ppi, while older photos are 180ppi. Mp3s are encoded at 128mbps, with no tag information, instead just track titles inside album folders.

Selection decisions are touched on in the About page: "I set out to build the site that I wished somebody else had built before I started collecting. I wanted to post some information, without opinion or commentary, and to share some of the music that I thought was worth collecting." There's also an unmentioned time limit that the webmaster has to work on a non-revenue generating site, so it may not be as much a representation of what's "worth collecting" in Brazilian music and more a collection of what the author had time to digitize, with a focus on what he liked the most first. While the music/mp3 section seems kind of random in its selection choices, the album cover section is closer to a proper digital library, with covers sorted by record company and original catalog number. This, along with an album title, is the extent of the metadata.

While there are obvious problems with consistency in selection, respect of intellectual property rights, and quality of digital objects and metadata, there's no legal digital initiative alternative that covers what this site does. Thinking of the Ad*Access project and the problems of making a digital library for 20th century objects, this site brings up questions for me about the effectiveness of illegal-ish sites to provide access to quickly-disappearing objects. There is a difference, of course, in sustainability. While Ad*Access will most likely continue to be a resource, sabadabada.com may not last a cease & desist order.

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